Two students sit with an advisor

Co-operative Education

Gain business-related work experience while you study

Work experience to prepare you for the business world

The BComm Co-operative Education Program (Co-op) gives you the opportunity to apply in-class learning to a professional work environment. Co-op is 8-16 months of full-time paid work experience that helps you develop career-related skills before you graduate. Earn practical experience, develop a network of business contacts, and gain a better understanding of different career options in your field. Within 3 months of graduating 83.5% of students who participated in co-op were working full-time.

Applications Open

Co-op Application

Please attempt to submit your co-op application at least six months prior to the start of your intended work term. Application decisions can take up to four weeks. If you have already secured employment that begins in less than six months, please email us ASAP.

You must complete Co-op Orientation before you can begin searching for a co-op placement.

Any questions?
Please contact

Are you a prospective Co-op employer?
Please visit Employer Services.

Digital Classroom

Why should I join co-op?

Wondering what the benefits are of the co-op program and why you should join? Click below to read through some of the benefits of the program!


Get ready to apply!

You've been accepted to the program and have been in close contact with the Career Development Specialists (CDS) in the Career Development Centre and the Co-op Academic Coordinator. These FAQs cover all of your next steps.

Students at the UN

Accepted-what's next?

You've been accepted into the program and are ready to take next steps.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Work Placements

  • Do you find jobs for me?
    Acceptance in the co-op program does not guarantee employment. We provide you with the tools and support to find employment for your co-op work terms, which means you’re able to look for a placement and employer than align with your goals and values!
  • Where or how can I find a job?
    There are many places to search for employment, including but not limited to: Elevate job boards (including the exclusive co-op job board), external job boards, company websites, your network, etc. If you find a job on your own, please contact a career advisor to confirm it fits the co-op work term requirements before accepting a job offer. What we’re usually looking for is:
    • A paid position (with a company that has been in operation for at least 2 years) that offers productive business-related work experience to help you build on skills learned in the classroom.
    • An office environment with at least 4 colleagues, and direct supervision to provide you with guidance and opportunities to meeting learning objectives and conduct a performance evaluation (form provided at end of work term).
    • Guaranteed 35 hours per week for 13 weeks minimum, with dates that roughly align with our terms:
      • Fall term: September to December
      • Winter term: January to April
      • Spring/Summer term: May to August
  • When can I start my first work term?
    Before your first work term, you must have successfully completed at least 54 units (18 courses) towards the BComm, including ACCT 217, MGST 217, SGMA 217, and ENTI 317. We also strongly recommend completing a senior level commerce course relating to the job to give yourself good foundational knowledge in the subject.
    Ideally we’d suggest you secure your first work term (IE have signed a job offer) within 1 year of being admitted to co-op, and before you have less than 10 courses remaining in your BComm.
  • What kind of job can I get?
    There are many positions in a variety of industries that fulfil the co-op program requirements.
    • Some previous positions students have held include: Accounting Assistant, Accounts Payable Clerk, Business Analyst, Customer Service Account Representative, Financial Analyst, Human Resources Analyst/Coordinator, Internal Audit Assistant, Marketing Communications Coordinator, Investment Analyst, Market Risk Analyst, Market Assistant, Operations Analyst, Research Assistant, Software Support Student, and Staff Analyst.
    • Some industries our students often find employment in include: Energy, Finance, Government, Information Technology, Public Accounting, Telecommunications, and Transportation.
  • What will I get paid?
    All co-op work terms are full-time paid positions. While salary varies by position and industry, we find our students are generally making competitive wages, with an average annual salary of $48,000 (or a median hourly wage of $24.96). Click here to see the most recent wage survey results.
  • Do I have to stay in Calgary & area to work?
    Not at all! Students can secure work placements elsewhere in Canada and many other international destinations. If you intend to work internationally, you’ll want to investigate work permit requirements, and there will be a few more steps to complete before your work term begins, but working abroad is absolutely a possibility!
  • What does the co-op program cost?
    The cost breakdown for the co-op program is below. Remember your co-op work placement will be a full-time paid position.
    • Admission fee: $50
      This fee is charged after your acceptance has been confirmed and is added to your next semester’s tuition/fees. There is no fee to apply to co-op.
    • Tuition for COOP 523.xx: please check the Calendar for up to date tuition information 
    • While on a registered work term, you will enroll in COOP 523.xx (read more about this in the Courses & Co-op section below) – there is tuition for work terms 1 and 2 (COOP 523.01 and COOP 523.02). There is no tuition charged for work terms 3 or 4 (COOP 523.03 and COOP 523.04).

Co-op term fees: please check the Calendar for up to date fee information 
While on a registered work term, you remain a full time student at UCalgary and will pay co-op term fees. Note that the UPass is optional, it is not added by default.

Courses & Co-op

  • What is the COOP 523.xx course?
    While you are out on a registered work term, you’ll register in COOP 523.xx – this course is worth 15 units and maintains your full-time student status while you’re working full time. This is important for many reasons, including loans, funding (RESP, awards/scholarships/etc.), international student status, and filing taxes to name a few. The course is online asynchronous, and the deliverables consist primarily of self-reflection assignments, and a midterm check-in and final performance evaluation.
    • Does COOP 523.xx count towards any courses in my BComm?
      Unfortunately no, we cannot use COOP 523.xx towards any courses in your degree; you need at least 30 units of COOP 523.xx to complete the co-op program, which is in addition to your BComm academic requirements. The co-op program is included on your degree parchment upon graduation if successfully completed.
    • Is there tuition for COOP 523.xx?
      Yes, but much less than a normal academic course! Please see Program Costs section above for more details.
    • How do I register in COOP 523.xx?
      Once you’ve secured a work placement, you’ll create your work term record on Elevate; once reviewed/approved, you’ll receive an email with instructions to register in COOP 523.xx. Step-by-step instructions for this are included in the Co-op Student Handbook for accepted students. 
    • How is COOP 523.xx graded?
      COOP 523.xx is a pass/fail course – complete your deliverables on time and keep in contact with us if you have questions or concerns to ensure a successful pass!
  • Can I take a course during a work term?
    Though we do not necessarily recommend students take a course during their work term, yes, all co-op students are given permission to register for one academic course (3 units) during their work term – it should be something that does not interfere with work hours. For example, block week (depending on your position start date), evening, or online asynchronous can all often fit your schedule during a work term.
    • Can I take more than one course during my work term?
      We strongly encourage students to focus on the opportunity to learn on the job and from colleagues and mentors in the workplace during their work terms. Please email us if you feel you need to take more than one course during your work term.
  • What is SGMA 303 and do I have to take it?
    SGMA 303 (Personal Career Strategies) is a great course to get you started on your career growth journey! In the course you’ll focus on workplace skill development, including career management, workplace communication and ethics, career readiness competencies, and leadership development through experiential learning. While this course is not mandatory to participate in the co-op program, if you complete SGMA 303 and receive a grade of B or higher before you apply to co-op, you can skip some steps on the co-op application.
    • Note for many students, SGMA 303 can be used towards their senior commerce/non-commerce requirements in the BComm. For advice on where this course will fit your degree, please email us with your UCID.
    • MGST 359.03 is equivalent to SGMA 303 and can be used in lieu of SGMA 303 towards co-op application (with B or higher) and for many students can be used towards senior commerce/non-commerce requirements in the BComm. Note that MGST 359.03 is intended for non-BComm students

International Students

  • Can I apply for the co-op program?
    Yes! International students can complete the co-op program. After being admitted to co-op, you should apply for your co-op work permit. ASAP – and you should wait to receive confirmation of approval before you start your job search. If you have questions about the co-op work permit, working in Canada while here studying, or renewing/extending your study permit to accommodate adding the co-op program, please email International Student Services.
  • Do I have to stay in Canada to work?
    One of the benefits in the co-op program, especially for international students, is our close connection with the Calgary business community! That being said, our co-op students can find work placements in Canada or internationally. If you plan to work internationally, please ensure you look into work permit requirements for the country you plan to work in, and connect with International Student Services here to discuss working abroad while an international student on a study permit in Canada.


For students accepted into the program, the Co-op Student Handbook includes everything you need to be successful in the program. 

Important Contacts for BComm Students (including mental health/medical and urgent contacts).


The Haskayne Co-operative Education program gave Omar & Zuzanna real work opportunities.

The BComm Co-operative Education Program (Co-op) provides students with the opportunity to apply their in-class learning to a real-work environment. Earn practical experience, develop a network of business contacts, and gain a better understanding of different career options in your field. 

I secured my final Co-op work term at the Canadian Embassy in Germany. I had a diverse range of projects including arranging meetings with the Prime Minister and contributing to reports sent back to Ottawa. It has been tremendously rewarding to be involved in such important projects and I’ve grown personally and professionally.

Kelsey Wiggers

Kelsey Wiggers


$48 000

This is an opportunity to make money while you learn. The average Co-op salary is $48 000 per year. The median hourly wage is $24.96.


Each year 300-400 students participate in Co-op to gain real-world work experience.

8-16 months

Co-op students will stand out in the job market having already completed at least 8 months and up to 16 months of relevant business experience.


My biggest takeaway from my Co-op terms was realizing what areas of focus did not fit with my interests & skills. This helped me figure out what I was passionate about and allowed me to better tailor my remaining courses. My advice for incoming Co-op students would be to have an open mind; go in with a positive outlook and be open to being challenged.

Christina Chow

Christina Chow